Objective: To determine if focal ‘nuclear atypia’ or ‘microfollicular architecture’ portends a higher risk of malignancy than other subcategories of atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) in thyroid fine-needle aspirations (FNAs). Study Design: The frequencies of The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC) categories were calculated from 3,956 thyroid FNAs interpreted over a 26-month period at The Johns Hopkins Hospital after adoption of TBSRTC. TBSRTC criteria were applied strictly. The risk of malignancy, specifically for AUS subcategories, was analyzed by cyto-histo correlation. Results: Of the 133 cases diagnosed as AUS, 32% were found to have stageable carcinoma (not incidental microcarcinoma) on resection. When the subset of AUS with ‘nuclear atypia’ (AUS-N) was separated from other AUS cases, 48% (30/62) of them had stageable carcinoma on resection; of the AUS subset with ‘microfollicular architecture’ (AUS-F), 27% (8/30) were malignant on resection. The ‘suspicious for papillary thyroid carcinoma’ (SPTC) group maintained a higher risk of malignancy versus AUS-N (relative risk, RR 1.57; 95% CI 1.23–1.81). Conclusion: The subcategory of ‘nuclear atypia’ within AUS indicates a higher risk of malignancy than other subcategories of AUS but has a lower risk of malignancy than SPTC does. Thus, it is an important distinction with potential clinical implications.